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Thursday, June 22, 2017


"Will you welcome..." Johnny would usually say when introducing his next guest.  Over the years there were countless "Will you welcome"s on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", some who would remain in relative obscurity, and others who would parlay their once-in-a-lifetime chance at fame all the way to stardom.

Time-Life's 3-disc DVD collection THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON: JOHNNY AND FRIENDS FEATURING STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS & EDDIE MURPHY is about three of those who became superstars in the field of comedy--Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy--thanks in large part to their early exposure with Johnny on his classic late-night talk show which is now such an integral part of television legend. 

Johnny, of course, was no stranger to either television or comedy, having labored in both fields since the 50s as host or co-host of various comedy, variety, and game shows such as "Carson's Cellar" and "Who Do You Trust?" before finally replacing Jack Paar as host of "The Tonight Show" in 1962.

Each show began with an opening monologue, which was basically a new stand-up routine every night.  It was here that Johnny really proved himself, getting more mileage out of bad jokes than most comics do with hilarious ones. In fact, his style was to willfully tell bad jokes--even telegraph them as being bad, building audience expectation--and then mine their groaning response for humor until he had them rolling in the aisles. 

It was a totally unique comic style and sensibility that set Johnny apart from all other stand-up comics, and he excelled at it night after night.  His loyal announcer and sidekick Ed McMahon, of course, played along beautifully, adding dry asides here and there in order to invite a sarcastic response from Johnny (often a mock threat to terminate his employment).  To which Ed would respond, naturally, with his trademark belly laugh.

The show was, importantly, for everyone, regardless of their political persuasion.  Johnny did get in some topical jabs here and there, but they weren't really all that caustic and he generally kept things goodnatured, unlike the profane, rabidly partisan hacks of today's late night shows. In other words, Johnny had something called "class", a quality in short supply on TV these days.

During the nine new-to-retail episodes in this Time-Life set, Johnny gives us old viewers some of our favorite bits such as "Stump the Band" and "The Mighty Carson Art Players." (Alas, there are no visits from either Art Fern, Karnak the Magnificent, or Aunt Blabby.)  Flamboyantly-dressed bandleader Doc Severinsen and his sometime stand-in Tommy "Mr. Excitement" Newsom come in for their usual ribbing, while Johnny and Ed play off each other like the seasoned pros that they are.

Disc one features three appearances by Steve Martin, beginning in 1976 with a stand-up that lets us see young Steve in his banjo-playing, "happy feet" prime.  A 1982 show finds movie-star Steve pushing his film DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID, and in 1991 a slightly more staid, reserved Martin talks about his starring role in FATHER OF THE BRIDE.  Each appearance is loaded with plenty of comedy in his familiar style. 

Other guests include the always beloved James Stewart, a spaced-out Karen Black, Sylvester Stallone (circa ROCKY III), comic Cathy Ladman, and singer Leon Redbone.  Some of the classic commercials of the era (if you choose to watch them--the DVD gives us a choice) include "Coke Adds Life", the "NesTea Plunge", and the little guy who wants to talk to us about...diarrhea.  In a 1982 segment Johnny jokes about upcoming TV shows such as "Silver Spoons" and "Knight Rider."

Disc two is a trio of hit-and-run appearances by the always hyper-frenetic Robin Williams, who would blow into the studio like a gale force wind and never let up.  Whether in 1984 or in his two 1991 shows, Robin is a non-stop whirling dervish of gags, voices, and flailing physical comedy that dominates not only his time with Johnny but that of the other guests as well.  It was as though he had no "off" switch, and was always dialed up all the way to eleven. 

Even fellow kooky improv comic Jonathan Winters barely gets a word in while sitting there with Robin. Other guests don't stand a chance, including good sport Phyllis Newman, dulcet-toned Steve Lawrence, and southern-fried Park Overall.  While Johnny does manage to converse with them in minimal terms, their presence is pretty much just another excuse for Robin to go wild.  His fans will be ecstatic, of course.

Disc three finds breakout "Saturday Night Live" player Eddie Murphy on his blazing rocket to fame, with all three appearances occurring in 1982 but already plotting a quick trajectory to superstardom. 

Eddie's first shot on the show is brash but in a controlled way--his ego has yet to become overinflated, and there's still a hunger in his clearly ambitious attitude.  He's already at ease and in his element in the stand-up spots, wowing the audience with his sharp humor and confidence.  He handles his time talking with Johnny well, too, easily getting laughs and charming both host and audience without breaking a sweat.  (Not that we can see, anyway.)

His second appearance is much more confident, and his stand-up features a bold use of the "N" word in an innovative and borderline abrasive way that has the audience in a tizzy of laughter.  By now, Johnny's regard for him has clearly grown, and by his third show, the cocky, brash, super-confident Murphy is getting a "superstar" ovation from the audience.

Other guests on this disc include McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers of TV's "MASH", boxer Randall "Tex" Cobb, Albert Hague of "Fame", and singer Angela Bofill. 

Watching this 3-disc set, I can't help but be filled with that old warm glow of nostalgia for a time when we could turn on the TV and watch Johnny and company every weeknight.  THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON: JOHNNY AND FRIENDS FEATURING STEVE MARTIN, ROBIN WILLIAMS & EDDIE MURPHY gives both old and new fans of the show a chance to relive those times, courtesy of some of Johnny's funniest and most outrageous guests, and tune in to that unique vibe all over again. 


Format: DVD/3 Discs
Running Time: 499 minutes
Genre:  TV DVD/Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Stereo
Original Commercials: On/Off

Street Date: July 4, 2017

Read our original coverage


Universal Announces "JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM" In Theaters June 22, 2018



Official website






Two Brothers Shoot for Fame but Find Only Infamy in the Butcher Bros.' "A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SNUFF"

A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff

“Making it in Hollywood Can be Murder!”

West Hollywood, California (Thursday, June 22nd) - The Butcher Brothers - Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores - have completed their disturbing horror film, A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff. Darkly comedic, the film stars: Joey Kern (Super Troopers, Cabin Fever), Luke Edwards (Jeepers Creepers 2, The Wizard), Bree Williamson (True Detective, Haven), Brad Greenquist (Lone Ranger, Water for Elephants) and many others.

The film involves shooting a fake snuff film, to make one woman famous. But, the plan goes off the rails, from the get-go. A preview of A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff and its summer release is hosted here.

The story opens as two brothers, Dresden (Joey Kern) and Dominic (Luke Edwards) enact their scheme. Together, they decide to kidnap Jennifer (Bree Williamson), in the name of infamy and to make the greatest film of all time. The kidnapping quickly goes downhill. Now, the brothers find themselves being hunted by a raging actress, with an arsenal at her disposal.

The Butcher Brothers are best known for their work on vampire thriller The Hamiltons (2006), The Violent Kind (Sundance) in 2010 and they already have their next film finished – The Night Watchmen. Their latest production, A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff, has already won several awards, including: “Best Actor,” “Best Actress,” and “Best Feature Film” at FearNYC.

The film opens theatrically in June before Indican Pictures delivers this title, to horror fans, through Video-on-demand and on DVD - this July. More details on the summer release of A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff are hosted here.

The film’s official trailer

Release Date: June 23, 2017 (Theatrical, Los Angeles) & July 11th, 2017 (VOD, DVD).

Director: Mitchell Altieri. Writers: Cory Knauf, Adam Weis, Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores.

Cast: Joey Kern, Luke Edwards, Bree Williamson, Brad Greenquist, Perry Laylon and Carter MacIntyre.
More details on the film are available at Indican Pictures

About Indican Pictures
Indican Pictures acquires and distributes feature films to a broad range of entertainment outlets by providing a diverse selection of movies across theatrical, home video, TV, VOD, PPV and streaming platforms.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WITHOUT NAME -- Movie Review by Porfle

Sometimes there's a stalker in the forest; sometimes the stalker IS the forest.  Or at least there's some evil force (force...forest) that permeates it, drawing in unwary victims like flies to a spider web.

Or...maybe it's all in Eric's mind, and the sylvan solitude and verdant vastness of this mysterious place WITHOUT NAME (2016) simply act as a catalyst for coaxing the crazy out of his already fevered psyche.  

Eric (Alan McKenna, MALICE IN WONDERLAND, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS) is already in a bad place mentally, with an alienated wife and resentful son who make home life a misery for him.  As a surveyor for a shady Irish land developer, he's glad to escape the concrete prison of the city and venture into a wild land where he's surrounded by vast panoramic vistas of overwhelming primitive beauty.

At first, that is.  But before long, the forest begins to feel oppressive and strange in daylight, and dark--really dark--at night.  It seems to close in on the creepy little stuck-in-time cottage he's huddled into, giving him, and us, an almost palpable sense of isolation mixed with a growing dread of the unknown.

The late arrival of his helper and mistress Olivia (Niamh Algar) brings a bit of spiritual warmth to Eric that's reflected in the music (it's the film's first semi-happy musical theme) but it doesn't last long as their first foray into the woods almost instantly takes an eerie turn for both of them.  Not only is their equipment vandalized, but we get the feeling they're being watched.  And that's not even the half of it.

A third character, the gregarious Gus (James Browne, TREE KEEPER), is a roving trailer-dweller spending some time in the woods himself.  Gus knew the man, Devoy, who occupied the cottage until he went mad (Devoy's cryptic, handwritten journal, "Knowledge of Trees", which Eric becomes obsessed with, seems ample evidence of this) and his stories stoke the unease already coursing through Eric's veins.

Worse, he introduces Eric and Olivia to some of the potent magic mushrooms that grow wild in the forest, which begins a jarring dislocation from reality for Eric that will lead to some of the film's most disorienting and disquieting passages. 

Needless to say, Eric's mental state, already not all that stable, takes a turn for the psychedelic as he goes off the deep end faster than Richard Boone's character in I BURY THE LIVING. 

Director Lorcan Finnegan, in a noteworthy feature debut, has the kind of artistic eye that gives his film visual interest even when nothing exciting is going on, eschewing sensation for a deep-seated unease in which we spend much time on edge.

He builds the mood ever so slowly, letting us gradually get used to the idea that this forest is a quietly ominous place where anything might happen.  Then, when something finally does happen, we get that queasy feeling as the director slowly twists the nerve and reality becomes as wispy as the fog wafting through the trees.

Thus, there are long stretches in WITHOUT NAME which, while lacking in action, are in the service of building a mood and atmosphere that gradually creep up on us like a draught of cold air.

Not visceral horror but closely akin to the weirdness and twistiness of "The Outer Limits", "One Step Beyond", and "The Twilight Zone", WITHOUT NAME leaves us feeling stranded in a dark place ourselves, albeit one which, thank goodness, we can blink away with the click of a button.  

Now available in North America on major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla, Seed & Spark and Tubi TV. 

Cable VOD will follow at a later date.

Film clip -- "A late night walk through the woods:"

The film’s official trailer:

Official Facebook Page

Read our original coverage

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"BEHIND THE MASK -- THE BATMAN: DEAD END STORY" Uncovers the Aftermath of the Most Infamous Fan-Fiction Short of All Time -- 7/18



Street Date: July 18, 2017

"A fascinating look at what it takes to make a superhero --
figuratively and should sit on your shelf
-- GeekNation

In 2003, Sandy Collora and his friends set out to make an ambitious short film.
They wound up making history...

Available on DVD and Digital HD Platforms Including iTunes and Amazon, the "Behind-the-Scenes" Documentary Features Interviews with Collora, Comic Book Legend Neal Adams and Industry Luminaries Neal Adams, Sean Clark, Shawn Reevs and Jordu Schell

Official Trailer for BEHIND THE MASK

Director and writer Eric Dow (Honor in the Valley of Tears) goes behind the scenes of the most notorious fan-fiction short film of all time with BEHIND THE MASK: THE BATMAN: DEAD END STORY.

In the winter of 2003, commercial director Sandy Collora and some of his friends set out to make a low-budget short film for his demo reel.  What they wound up doing, however, was making one of the most elaborate, most watched, most talked about and most controversial short fan-directed films ever made: "Batman: Dead End."

The film launched a nationwide craze when all eight minutes were unveiled at Comic Con in 2003.  Director Kevin Smith called it "an amazing piece of work.  Possibly the truest, best Batman ever made".  In a Hollywood system where Batman movies are huge-budget, mega-merchandised projects, this low-budget short shattered all expectations, garnering an incredible amount of buzz outside of the Hollywood system. With appearances from The Joker, Alien, and Predator, the film was a hit with die-hard comic fans and modern action film lovers alike. 

Considering the amount of buzz surrounding the film, Collora was expected to be propelled into the Hollywood stratosphere.  Instead, his career sputtered.  Now, BEHIND THE MASK gives audiences an insider's behind-the-scenes look at the buzz-worthy short and the people who help create it including Collora, comic book legend Neal Adams, and convention all-stars Sean Clark, Shawn Reeves and Jordu Schell.

An incisive look at the making of the short film, BEHIND THE MASK, called "a fascinating look at an eccentric man who was geekdom's king for a day ("  truly uncovers what it takes to make it as a Hollywood A-lister.

Type: DVD//Digital HD (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play) 
Running Time: 99 mins.
Rating:  N/A
Genre: Documentary
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: Stereo

About Candy Factory Films
Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly multimedia company dedicated to producing and distributing high impact, unique and compelling films.  Embracing emerging distribution trends to successfully promote releases, Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard of independent distributors maximizing profit by reaching distinct audiences in numerous ways.  With a catalog stocked with award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, they're committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema.  Avenues for distribution include all leading digital platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and the national Video on Demand platform on cable television.


"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" With Miles Teller -- Watch the Trailer Now


"THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE"                  
October 27, 2017 

DreamWorks Pictures’ Thank You for Your Service follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.

Starring an ensemble cast led by Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer, Omar J. Dorsey and Jayson Warner Smith, the drama is based on the bestselling book by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author David Finkel. 

Jason Hall, who wrote the screenplay of American Sniper, makes his directorial debut with Thank You for Your Service and also serves as its screenwriter.  Jon Kilik (The Hunger Games series, Babel) produces the film, while Ann Ruark (Biutiful) executive produces.


Genre:        Drama   
Cast:        Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze, Keisha Castle-Hughes,
        Brad Beyer, Omar J. Dorsey, Jayson Warner Smith
Directed by:        Jason Hall
Written by:        Jason Hall
Based on the Book by:    David Finkel
Produced by:        Jon Kilik
Executive Producers:    Ann Ruark, Jane Evans


"AMERICAN ASSASSIN" With Michael Keaton (9/15) Watch the Trailer Now




AMERICAN ASSASSIN follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien), a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton).

The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets.

Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War.


CAST: Michael Keaton (Batman, The Founder), Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner, Deepwater Horizon), Taylor Kitsch (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Lone Survivor), Sanaa Lathan (Alien vs. Predator, Blade), Shiva Negar (The Art of More, My Babysitter’s a Vampire)

DIRECTED BY: Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger)

PRODUCED BY: Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers), Nick Wechsler (Under the Skin, The Road)

GENRE: Action Thriller



The Horrors Within Lorcan Finnegan's Supernatural Thriller Are "WITHOUT NAME" (Official Trailer & Poster)

Global Digital Releasing Unveils Trailer, Poster and Clip for Irish Horror Thriller WITHOUT NAME

WITHOUT NAME is a trippy, delirious time lost in the woods where you won’t want to find your way out…” - Daniel Kurland, Bloody Disgusting

“… the truest, and perhaps finest, example of the Lovecraftian sensibility ever put on film…” - Peter Gutierrez, Screen Anarchy

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 19, 2017) - Global Digital Releasing recently announced the North American digital and VOD release date of the award winning horror thriller Without Name.  Leading up to its official release on Tuesday, June 20th, the distributor is debuting the film’s official trailer, poster and a new clip ("A late night walk through the woods").

The story follows land surveyor Eric (Alan McKenna). He travels to a remote, unnamed, Irish woodland - to assess its suitability for a new development project. However, not all is as simple as it seems on this assignment. Intrigued by the wood’s foreboding mysticism, Eric finds himself drawn into a dangerous game, that could lead to him becoming a prisoner of this place without name.

 Without Name has won several awards and it has been nominated for many more. At the 2016 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Without Name won: “Best Feature,” “Best Director (Lorcan Finnegan),” “Best Editor (Tony Cranstoun)” and “Best Cinematography (Piers McGrail).” The film has also been nominated for “Best Sound (Aza Hand, Patrick Drummond),” at the 2017 Irish Film and Television Awards. As well, Without Name was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize, at the Nashville Film Festival, in 2017. This title is worthy of the praise and film fans can find out why June 20th.

The film will be available in North America on major platforms, shortly. Hosting platforms include: iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla, Seed & Spark and Tubi TV. Cable VOD will follow at a later date. Be sure to check out the official trailer and poster and the latest clip titled “A late night walk through the woods,” right here!

Film clip -- "A late night walk through the woods:"

The film’s official trailer:

Official Facebook Page:


Sunday, June 18, 2017


I grew up with TV shows that were designed for very young children to watch, shows that taught us our ABCs and how to count to ten in addition to little life lessons and stuff.  But what we didn't have in those days were shows that were literally designed for babies (or, at most, pre-pre-schoolers), which is a niche that "Teletubbies" has been filling almost exclusively since 1997.

The show was enough to blow my adult mind in its original form, but now, with more advanced digital backgrounds, green-screen effects, and other visual enhancements, the new, improved Teletubby world is more cheerfully bizarre than ever, as seen in Sony's six-episode DVD release TELETUBBIES: BUBBLES (2017).

Teletubby Land is a peaceful place of verdant, rolling meadows, colorful flowers, and scampering bunny rabbits, where the sun is a giant baby head that observes all with a bemused laugh and four fat, fuzzy creatures with TV antennas on their heads and monitor screens in their tummies--namely, the Teletubbies--emerge from their underground "home dome" to play until the sun goes down. 

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po, whom you can distinguish only by their color and shape of their antennae, think and speak on an almost pre-verbal level, using a few simple phrases ("Eh-oh!" means "Hello") but mainly repeating what the dulcet-voiced narrator says. 

Interestingly, the narrator gives them their cues--for example, he'll say "The Teletubbies ate some Tubby Toast" and the Teletubbies, upon hearing this, will hop around with joy and activate their giant Tubby Toast toaster.

At other times, they seem to be subjects in some strange laboratory experiment when a number of odd periscope-shaped devices emerge from the ground to observe them and issue instructions such as "It's sleepy-time" and "Wake up!"  But since there's no conflict or any individual concerns in this world, it's all just an excuse to celebrate and be happy for the eternally amenable Teletubbies. 

This results in a viewing experience that practically radiates calm and good vibes.  Plot is practically nonexistent, so what the show mainly does is to introduce toddlers to the most basic words, ideas, and images which are probably still new to them, and then to show the roly-poly characters having a little innocent and entirely harmless fun with it all.  It's like a visual tranquilizer. 

The titles of the six episodes (approx. 12 and a half minutes each) tell the whole story of each: "Bubbles", "Music Box", "Puddles", "Wake Up Time!", "Windy Day", and "Bumps!", the latter featuring a brief segment on bumper cars along with a little bumpy dancing by the Tubbies. 

When a nearby broadcast antenna is activated and its spinning wheel begins radiating multicolored stars (always an exciting part of their day), the Teletubbies writhe on the ground with pleasure until one of them receives a transmission via his tummy telly. 

This is our introduction to a short film with happy children demonstrating the episode's fun new thing (in "Puddles", we see two girls in galoshes splashing around in the rain; in "Bubbles", children are actually encased in large bubbles; the other shorts are equally self-explanatory) to which the Teletubbies invariably respond with "Again! Again!" for an abridged instant replay. 

Their subterranean home is a colorful playspace with a Tubby Custard machine that doubles as a train ride and a big smartphone that calls them with fun messages.  A new feature that still has me a bit freaked out is a miniature terrarium-like dollhouse containing tiny versions of themselves known as "Tiddly-Tubbies", which we see only when it's time for them to go to sleep. 

(I have no idea what's going on there, but it reinforces my feeling that this is all some strange experiment conducted by the mysterious periscope beings.)

Each episode ends with a cheerful goodbye and several group hugs ("The Teletubbies love each other", the narrator comfortingly assures us) before the furry brethren retire to their home dome for the evening and Big Baby-Head Sun slowly sets.  If Arnold Schwarzenegger were a Teletubby, his main catchphrase would definitely be "Big Hug." And unless you're a total cynic, the feeling should prove somewhat infectious.  

The pre-schoolers for whom TELETUBBIES: BUBBLES is intended won't care about any of that stuff, though.  I think these simple, repetitive, candy-coated little adventures will captivate them with their playful charm and tranquil, benevolent ambiance. And considering all that's going on in the world today, there's certainly no harm in a show that can make someone happy just thinking about bubbles for awhile.

Bonus Features:

·“Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” Song
·"Meet the Characters": Laa-Laa

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital Sound
English Subtitles
Approx. 75 min./Color

Read our original coverage

Buy it at


Saturday, June 17, 2017

THE PASSING -- Movie Review by Porfle

The achingly melancholy Welsh psychological chiller THE PASSING (2015) comes as a quiet reminder that contemporary horror doesn't need flashy effects, loud noises, or a short-attention-span pace to draw us in and give us that unsettling, creeped-out feeling.

In fact, director Gareth Bryn and writer Ed Talfan seem determined from the very start to give this dark backwoods tale the smoldering quality of a slow-burning hearth fire. 

Stanley (Mark Lewis Jones), a very simple man who lives alone on his isolated farm and works hard to maintain a meager existence, is first seen in a pit, digging mud and raising it out in buckets by rope.  Whatever he's doing, it's the very definition of "joyless drudgery", yet we get the feeling he's never known any other life.

Thus, when he ventures into the woods surrounding his house and comes across a wrecked car at the river's edge, with a teenaged boy and girl inside, their sudden encroachment into his hermetically-sealed world will bring both severe culture shock and a growing emotional unrest.

As Stanley quietly and dutifully nurses the girl's injuries, Sara (Annes Elwy) begins to feel a mutual empathy with him and an affinity for his lifestyle.  The boy, Iwan (Dyfan Dwyfor), an illicit lover with whom she is on the run, will eventually agree that this would be a good place for them to stay and perhaps even settle down. 

This proves an unwise arrangement the closer Sara is drawn to Stanley and the more jealous Iwan becomes.  The painfully insecure Stanley finds himself helplessly drawn into a triangle that threatens to end in violence, especially after Iwan comes across a cache of whiskey left behind by Stanley's father and quickly succumbs to his baser impulses.

All of this would provide sufficient drama, yet THE PASSING goes beyond this steamy rural intrigue and into the realm of the supernatural when Sara begins to have fleeting glimpses of a phantom figure in and around the house.  She also finds physical evidence of its presence, both in the musty attic and in her own bedroom. 

This aspect of the story is done with such subtlety that we're never quite sure whether or not it's real.  But Sara's visions of death and drowning, made worse after Stanley relates a sad tale of tragic death in his own family, keep reoccurring with increasing intensity until finally, in a shocking twist, all is revealed. 

The film offers gorgeous, moody photography with a very haunting sort of antique atmosphere you could cut with a knife (while taking place in the present day, the story is a "period piece" whenever we're in Stanley's dimly-lit house) and lots of contemplative "pillow" shots that are artistically composed.

In some scenes there's an almost magical beauty to the deep, water-bedecked flora and rolling hills surrounding the farmhouse.  The interiors, by contrast, are a study in oppressive austerity and emotional desolation as we observe Stanley going about his everyday routine.

Director Bryn's very deliberate pace invites us to engage fully with the narrative rather than simply observing it.  Performances by the three-member cast are fine and thoroughly convincing (with dialogue in Welsh with subtitles).  A haunting New Age (ish) musical score enhances it all. 

Before long, we know that either something supernatural is wandering through THE PASSING or that there's something else equally strange going on.  With an ever-tightening grip, this bitterly-curdled psychodrama slowly creeps its way into our blood and ends with a cold shiver. 

Available in North America and across the globe on major platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Instant, Seed & Spark, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla and Tubi TV

Cable VOD to follow

Read our original coverage

Watch the Trailer:


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rooster Teeth Animation Festival - Only at RTX!

The most amazing animation festival on the planet is at RTX Austin! 

Join us July 7 - 9 for exclusive screenings, Q&A sessions, and trailblazing animators - including a special theatrical event for Castlevania, a Netflix Original Series.

Only at the Rooster Teeth Animation Festival, part of RTX Austin and included with your RTX badge. More special guests to be announced!



"HAPPY DEATH DAY" - Watch The New Trailer Now!

Happy Death Day
Release: 10/13/2017

Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, Whiplash) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student (Jessica Rothe, La La Land) relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.

Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and written by Scott Lobdell and Landon.

Watch the Trailer:

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton

Directed By
Christopher Landon

Produced By
Jason Blum

Executive Produced By
Angela Mancuso, John Baldecchi, Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Volturno, Seth William Meier


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Paladin Acquires Philip Gelatt's Genre-Bending Thriller "THEY REMAIN"


Genre-Bending Thriller By Philip Gelatt To Open In Fall

New York- June 14, 2017- Paladin has acquired domestic theatrical rights to THEY REMAIN, a genre-bending experience in terror written and directed by Philip Gelatt, it was announced by company president Mark Urman. Gelatt, who has amassed impressive credentials as an innovative, versatile creator of sophisticated genre content in a variety of mediums, has re-teamed on the project with Reno Productions, with whom he made his acclaimed debut feature, "The Bleeding House," which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. The deal was negotiated by Urman and Reno principal, Will Battersby, who served as the film's producer. Paladin and Reno are prepping THEY REMAIN for a film festival launch and theatrical release commencing in the Fall.

Based on the 2010 short story, "-30-" by award-winning author Laird Barron, THEY REMAIN explores the evolving relationship between Keith and Jessica, two scientists who are employed by a vast, impersonal corporation to investigate an unspeakable horror that took place at the remote encampment of a mysterious cult. Working and living in a state-of-the-art, high tech environment that is completely at odds with their surroundings, they spend their days gathering physical evidence, analyzing it, and reporting on their findings.

The intensity of their work, and their extreme isolation, bring the pair closer. But, when Jessica discovers a mysterious artifact of unknown origin, the dynamic between them changes: secrets are kept, sexual tensions arise, and paranoia sets in. Keith begins to have visions and is unable to distinguish whether they are nightmares or hauntings. Having lost all sense of what is real and what is imagined, all he knows is that the horror he and Jessica have been sent to uncover—a horror that could be biological, psychological, or supernatural— now threatens his very survival.

Barron’s novels, short fiction, and poems have earned him a substantial following among aficionados of fantasy, noir, horror, and sci-fi, and have twice won him the Shirley Jackson Award. Gelatt, similarly, combines multi-disciplinary experience as a graphic novelist and comic book creator for the “Indiana Jones” franchise, and for such companies as Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press, with his background as a video game writer for such companies as Crystal Dynamics and Frictional Games, and on “Rise of The Tomb Raider” (for which he won the WGA Award). With this pedigree, it is unsurprising that THEY REMAIN succeeds in splicing these various strains of pop culture DNA into a unique and imaginative cinematic hybrid.

About the deal Urman says, “I can’t remember when I last encountered a film that so completely defies categorization and so consistently forges new territory as THEY REMAIN. Phil weaves such a potent spell, and creates such extraordinary images, you’re utterly convinced that, any second, something awful will happen. I’m so excited to have people see it, just so I can talk about it with them!” Producer Battersby said “Phil and I are thrilled to be teaming up with Mark Urman and Paladin again. Mark helped us sell and market Phil’s first film “The Bleeding House” and he did a tremendous job financially and creatively for us. He was the first and only distributor to whom we showed THEY REMAIN as we were so convinced that his experience, ability and unique taste would be the perfect combination to release this film.”

THEY REMAIN stars William Jackson Harper (“Paterson,” “True Story”) and Rebecca Henderson (“Mistress America”) as Keith and Jessica.  The film's third "star" is cinematographer Sean Kirby, whose hallucinatory images contribute immeasurably to its disorienting, disturbing mood.  Kirby's credits include the acclaimed documentaries "Racing Extinction," and "The Tillman Story," as well as Robinson Devor's notorious "Zoo," which created a sensation at both Sundance and Cannes, and which Urman executive produced and released through THINKFilm. Peter Askin produced with Battersby.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"FLATLINERS" with Ellen Page -- New Trailer, Photos and One-Sheet

September 29, 2017

In Flatliners, five medical students, hoping to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment.

By stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience. 

As the investigation becomes more and more perilous, they are forced to confront the sins of their pasts, as well as contend with the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.

Directed by:  Niels Arden Oplev
Story by:   Peter Filardi and Ben Ripley

Screenplay by:  Ben Ripley

Produced by:  Laurence Mark
Michael Douglas
Peter Safran

Executive Producers:  Michael Bederman
Robert Mitas
Cast:  Ellen Page
Diego Luna
Nina Dobrev
James Norton
Kiersey Clemons

This film is not yet rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.  For future rating information, please visit  Credits not final

Watch the Trailer:


Monday, June 12, 2017

FROM HOLLYWOOD TO ROSE -- Movie Review by Porfle

A middle-aged, somewhat dazed-looking woman in a wedding dress and skyscraper heels gets on a bus on Hollywood Boulevard and rides around all night, pondering her circumstances while interacting with a procession of oddballs in FROM HOLLYWOOD TO ROSE (2016). 

The would-be bride (Eve Annenberg) has just backed out of her wedding to an overly serious doctor named Stanley.  When she encounters two portly young fanboys who come off like a couple of yakky Kevin Smith types, their constant chatter about useless trivia slowly coaxes her out of her shell enough to reveal herself as a fellow dreamer who has trouble relating to the real world and its more mundane denizens.

Later in the film we'll finally get the whole story on The Bride, but in the meantime, she's just a cypher in a sea of strangers (some much stranger than others) each of whom has his or her moment to perform some comic monologue or freak out in an amusing manner until it's the next character's turn.

Thus, most of the script is virtually plotless and our interest in it is dependant on how entertaining we find The Bride and her various traveling companions. 

As one might guess, it's a line-up of the usual suspects--flamboyant drag queens, a stereotypically gay guy, people with relationship problems, people with racial hostility, people freaking out, lovable homeless people, inquisitive little kids, purse snatchers, bikers, etc.

Much of the dialogue is along the lines of Tarantino's "Royale with Cheese" exchange from PULP FICTION, especially when the two fanboys rattle on endlessly about movies, comic books, and the usual stuff as they escort their new lady friend to her next stop after missing the bus.

It stretches a bit thin after awhile, at least during the more aimless chatter we must endure (Mace Windu quotes, Burton's Batman vs. Nolan's Batman) while mining nuggets of interest.

Semi-charming vignettes, such as an unlikely guitar player performing a sensitive ballad before silently exiting at his stop, come and go with varying success.  Things briefly catch fire when The Bride runs into her almost-sister-in-law in a yogurt shop and a screaming food fight ensues.

Eve Annenberg is tasked to carry it all with her character's sheer deadpan cuteness, but even the image of a runaway bride fleeing conformity and marital confinement is a familiar one, as Fanboy #1 reminds us when he recalls the end of THE GRADUATE.

Still, after what seems an endless night, her story finally does come to a fairly interesting resolution (with, oddly enough, a visual reminder of yet another runaway bride, this time Bonnie Bedelia in "Then Came Bronson") and the movie ends on a sufficiently satisfying note. 

I have a feeling there are those who will really enjoy FROM HOLLYWOOD TO ROSE and appreciate what it's going for--a slice of city life with an assortment of kooky character types and quirky dialogue in a revue-style story.  Personally, though, I was keeping an eye out for the next stop. 

June 16th Theatrical Release:
Laemmle Music Hall 3
9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Watch the Trailer:


2017 "Dances With Films" Announces Award Winners


ONE LESS GOD receives Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature

Grand Jury Best Shorts winner is LA SIRENA

The Industry Choice Award (ICA) Under 40 to RED
The Industry Choice (ICA) Over 40 to ONE LESS GOD

Audience Awards given in the following categories:
Competition Feature, Competition Short, Fusion Feature, Fusion Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Downbeat, Web Series and TV


LOS ANGELES, CA (June 12, 2017) – The 20th edition of the fiercely independent film festival Dances With Films (DWF) concluded on Sunday evening (June 11) with a closing night celebration at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood where the excitement was electric throughout the arena. Filmmakers and VIP guests enjoyed the festival’s signature green carpet, awards ceremony, and a party featuring live music by Daniel Morris & Saizon Trio. Screening as the closing night film was the world premiere of AUSTIN FOUND from filmmaker Will Raée, starring Skeet Ulrich, Ursula Parker, Patrick Warburton, Matt Jones, Jon Daly, and Reza Sixo Safai, all of whom were in attendance. The film also stars Linda Cardellini, Jaime Pressley, Kristen Schaal, Craig Robinson, and Chris Parnell.

The unstoppable festival, for two decades a champion of independent filmmakers, is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of innovative independent cinema in the U.S., presenting amazing, undiscovered talent to an industry audience in Hollywood at the always jam-packed TCL Chinese Theaters.

ONE LESS GOD, a searing and intense drama about a terrorist takeover of a hotel in India based on true events, written and directed by Lliam Worthington, took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature. The feature ELIZA SHERMAN’S REVENGE was given an Honorable Mention. The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short was awarded to LA SIRENA with Honorable Mentions given to WOMAN WITH AN EDITING BENCH and CONFECTION.

“ONE LESS GOD is one of the most masterful works we’ve seen come out of the Australian independent scene,” said DWF co-founders Michael Trent and Leslee Scallon. “It is powerfully relevant considering today’s headlines and we were honored to have the opportunity of presenting it to the world at this year’s festival.”

The prestigious 2017 Features Jury was comprised of past DWF winners Zack Bennett (The Ataxian), Clay Riley Hassler (Homeless), Tiffany Hassler (Homeless), and Michael David Lynch (Victor Walk). The Shorts Jury included DWF alum Kimberly Browning (Diamonds In The Rough), Romell Foster-Owens (Snake Oil Sam), and Mikeal Kreuzriegler (Sway).

The DWF Industry Choice Award is judged by industry powerhouse executives and all films in the festival (whether in competitive or fusion sections, features or shorts) are eligible. This year’s judges included feature producer Debbie Vandermeulen (Brahman Naman), television producer Hilton Smith (Super Girl, Deadwood), and President of Production at Ivanhoe Pictures Kilian Kerwin who awarded the films RED (under 40 minutes) and ONE LESS GOD (over 40 minutes).

The Audience Awards were given in numerous categories, including Downbeat (music videos and dance-themed films), Web Series, and TV Pilots, in addition to shorts and features. The full list of audience award winners is below.
The final lineup featured more than 193 titles, chosen from a record 2,100 submissions from all over the globe. The juried narrative competition section included 16 features, 14 of which were world premieres, and nearly three-dozen shorts. DWF also has categories for groundbreaking short and feature documentaries, provocative genre fare in the Midnight section, and the most exciting music videos and dance-themed films from the indie scene in the Downbeats section. The Fusion section brings together a multitude of additional features and shorts.

The festival also features the popular DANCES WITH PILOTS, which features the hottest new television and web pilots and the unique DANCES WITH KIDZ!, which screens films by and for kids.

Best Feature: ONE LESS GOD
Honorable Mention - Feature: ELIZA SHERMAN’S REVENGE
Best Short: LA SIRENA

ICA Under 40 Minustes: RED
ICA Over 40 Minutes: ONE LESS GOD

Competition Feature: HOLDEN ON
Competition Short: ALL THE MARBLES
Fusion Short: WINK
Documentary Feature: RESISTANCE IS LIFE
Documentary Short: MIRACLE IN MALIBU

About Dances With Films
In 1998 DWF began as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrow’s talent today and continues to carry on this mission today. With many World and West Coast Premieres, DWF provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit. With a vast number of submissions, the selection process is based solely on merit and discoverability. DWF continues its dedication to and is a devoted champion of fresh and creative voices, mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors, or producers. For the past 20 years, DWF has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers from across the globe that diligently work year after year to see their dreams realized. With more than 12,000+ festival attendees and 2.5 million impressions per month on, DWF is loyal and dedicated to the indie filmmaker and is considered their champion in Hollywood.

DWF’s Advisory Board includes: Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman, and Steve Wegner.



Tom Cruise Stars in Universal's "AMERICAN MADE" in September



In Universal Pictures’ American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), in this international escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history.

Based on a true story, American Made co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays.

The film is produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver (Black Swan) and Tyler Thompson (Everest), Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davison (The Departed), and Kim Roth (Inside Man). Gary Spinelli wrote the screenplay.

Watch the Trailer:


Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones, Jayma Mays

Directed By
Doug Liman

Produced By
Brian Grazer, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson, Doug Davison, Kim Roth

Executive Produced By
Ray Angelic


Everyone Has a Dark Secret in Gareth Bryn's "THE PASSING" -- Official Trailer, Poster & Clip

Global Digital Releasing Unveils Official Trailer and Poster for Debut Film Launch - THE PASSING

Los Angeles, California (June 12, 2017) - Global Digital Releasing recently announced the worldwide digital and VOD release date of the award winning film THE PASSING.  Leading up to its official release on Tuesday, June 13th, the distributor is now debuting the official trailer, poster and newest clip, “The Visitor.”

The film, which was acquired for North America by XYZ Films, revolves around two young lovers (Annes Elwy and Dyfan Dwyfor). They crash their car into a ravine in the remote mountains of Wales. Dragged from the river by a mysterious figure they will later come to know him as Stanley (Mark Lewis Jones). Together, they are taken to a ramshackle farm, a place untouched by time. As events unfold, we learn the explosive truth about the young couple's past. More unsettling still, we discover the ghostly truth about Stanley and the tragedy of the valley he once called home.

Shot in the beautiful Welsh countryside, the film was written by Ed Talfan and directed by Gareth Bryn. In addition to winning three 2016 BAFTA Cymru awards: Best Actor: Mark Lewis Jones, Best Writer: Ed Talfan and Best Production Design: Tim Dickel, the film also won the Univercine Jury Award in the Nantes British Film Festival. Also, the film was nominated for Best Debut Screenplay, in the British Independent Film Awards 2016.

The film has also been critically acclaimed by multiple press outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and The Guardian. Sight and Sound Magazine stated: “watertight in its construction, and steeped in all manner of melancholic transgressions. As satisfying as it is profoundly sorrowful.” And exclaimed: “…The Passing is a masterstroke of allegory and mood that continues to haunt long after it’s over.”

The film will be available in North America and across the globe on major platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Instant, Seed & Spark, Google Play, Sony PSN, X-Box Live, Vudu, Vimeo on Demand, Steam, Roku, Crackle, Hoopla and Tubi TV. Cable VOD will follow at a later date.  You can check out the official trailer and poster and the latest clip, titled “The Visitor,” right here!

The official trailer: 

A clip, titled “The Visitor”:

The Passing Youtube Playlist:

The official GDR Facebook Page:


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saban Films Takes North American Distribution Rights to Simon West's "GUN SHY" Starring Antonio Banderas and Olga Kurylenko


LOS ANGELES – June 8, 2017 – Saban Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Simon West’s (The Expendables 2, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) Gun Shy (formerly Salty), starring Golden Globe Nominee Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro, Desperado) and Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion). The action film was written by Toby Davies and Mark Haskell Smith.  West and Jib Polhemus produced under the Simon West Productions banner alongside Harry Stourton.

Adapted from the novel also written by Haskell Smith, Gun Shy follows Turk Henry (Banderas), an aging mid-level rock star whose supermodel wife (Kurylenko) is suddenly kidnapped while they are vacationing in Chile. Accustomed to his superstar lifestyle and lacking basic life-skills, Turk finds himself perplexed in having to navigate the back alleys of Santiago and South American jungles in order to save his wife from the renegades.

“Gun Shy is a supremely entertaining film,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “Our audiences will delight in Antonio Banderas’ raucous performance and director Simon West’s unique and wild vision.”

Gun Shy will be released in theatres on September 8th in key cities throughout America and Canada. Ness Saban and Bill Bromiley negotiated the deal on behalf of Saban Films, with London-based Carnaby International handling worldwide rights.

Saban Films continues to be an active buyer following the acquisitions of John Travolta’s Speed Kills and the Ethan Hawke Action/Thriller 24 Hours to Live at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Earlier this year, Saban Films acquired FilmNation’s sci-fi film Kill Switch starring Dan Stevens and Bérénice Marlohe. Saban Films’ slate also includes: Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lake Bell; John Stockwell’s Armed Response starring Wesley Snipes and Anne Heche; Alexandros Avranas’ True Crime starring Jim Carrey; Small Town Crime starring John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, and Octavia Spencer; Roland Joffé’s The Forgiven starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana, Sean Penn’s The Last Face starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem; and Jonathan Mostow’s The Hunter’s Prayer starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush.   

About Saban Films
Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America. Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as president, Shanan Becker, Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Director of Business Development.

Since the company’s launch in 2014, Saban Films has released 23 films.  The 2017 Saban Films slate includes: John Michael McDonagh’s War on Everyone starring Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James, and Tessa Thompson; Colm McCarthy’s critically acclaimed apocalyptic thriller The Girl with All the Gifts starring Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine; Walter Hill’s The Assignment starring Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia; Jonathan Mostow’s The Hunter’s Prayer starring Sam Worthington and Odeya Rush; and Sean Penn’s The Last Face starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.

About Carnaby International Sales and Distribution PLC
Carnaby International Sales and Distribution PLC is an all rights UK distributor and International Sales agent, whilst also offering co-production and financing. Carnaby International PLC was established in 2001 and is dubbed an ‘Indie Giant’.  The company was originally set up with the specific purpose of financing and producing British feature films with 14 feature films and over 800 hours of TV programming - which has sold extensively worldwide - to its credit.  The company's Co-production, Sales and Distribution division is based in London's Soho and run by Sean O’Kelly and Andrew Loveday.  Whilst the Finance and Production Division is based in Essex and headed by Terry and Michael Loveday. The company has raised over $80M in the last 7 years and is continuously looking for commercial projects with strong talent.


THE WEDDING PARTY -- Movie Review by Porfle

I've heard of movies that were shot all in one single take, but I've never seen one until now. THE WEDDING PARTY (Candy Factory Films, 2016), bless its adventuresome little heart, starts when it starts and ends when it ends, all in one glorious, impossibly extended camera shot.  And yes, it's just as amazing as you might think.

The story is a simple ensemble comedy about an outdoor post-wedding party in which the bride and groom's friends, all verging on middle age but dealing with the same relationships and hangups they've had since high school, interact in ways both humorous and touching. 

Revelations are made--the class horndog is really kind of lonely, the clown has a heart beneath his clumsy exterior, the Miss Perfect type is really Miss Messed-Up, and so on.  Bride and groom have the usual lingering doubts about what they've just gotten into, while the event gives their friends pause to assess their lives thus far.

The groom's best friend Jim (Blake Lee) and the bride's best friend Alex (Allison Paige) are enlisted to hold everything together on the fly when the wedding planner goes boobs-up after an accidental overdose of nerve pills, and it's their frantic attempt to avert various disasters (such as a cake-bakers' strike) while nursing their own tentative romance that makes for what turns out to be a fairly engaging story that becomes warmer and more comfortable as we settle into it.

That said, the thing that really makes me sit up straight and take extra special notice of THE WEDDING PARTY is that one-take thing.  I'm talking approximately one hour and fifty-seven minutes between the time writer and first-time director Thane Economou, in an utterly dazzling feature debut, said "Action!" to the final "Cut!", with nary a gaffe, miscue, blown line, or act of nature to mar a single moment of it. 

The action all takes place in a house and a backyard, all choreographed in what appears to be a singularly prodigious feat of cinematic stagecraft.  It must've been fascinating watching actors, steadicam operator, and crew all moving in balletic conjunction from one setting and vignette to the next, and we can imagine that during each pause for dialogue there's a bustle of activity behind the camera as everyone scurries to get ready for the focus to swing around to them. 

As the crew do their jobs with clockwork efficiency, we're impressed by how smoothly the actors perform their intricate exchanges and bits of business--it's as though they're been performing this script on stage for so long that it's become second nature to them.

It's a good story and would've been enough to hold our interest under normal conditions, but as executed here, what we see unfoldling before the roving camera is often nothing short of astonishing. 

Performances, needless to say, are top-notch from everyone involved, from the leads right down to the bit players.  The story twists and turns itself in predictable but pleasing ways, and for the most part both the lighthearted comedy and the more heartfelt moments work.  But the effect of all this is  amplified, and unavoidably overshadowed, by the fact that we're witnessing a superbly rendered technical marvel the entire time. 

Even Hitchcock got to stop every ten minutes or so to reload his film cameras when he crafted ROPE out of a series of unbroken takes linked by hidden edits.  With THE WEDDING PARTY, an above-average but rather innocuous coming-of-middle-age comedy-drama ventures boldly beyond even that feat of filmmaking to become something wonderfully, exhilaratingly unique. I wish I could have been there to give them a standing ovation when it was done.

Type: DVD//Digital HD (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play) 
Running Time:119 mins.
Rating:  N/A
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Aspect Ratio:2.35:1
Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound

Coming to DVD ($14.99) and Digital HD on Platforms Including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play

Street Date: June 13, 2017